Staff Council Meeting Minutes – September 2017

Staff Council met on Wednesday, September 20 at 9:00AM in Alumni Auditorium. Below are the meeting minutes (approved on October 19, 2017) for your review. These minutes can also be found on the K: Drive, located at K:\Staff Council\Staff Council – Meeting Minutes\June 2017 – May 2018. 

I.   Welcome – Call meeting to order (Christina Erickson, Staff Council President)

  • Christina expressed opportunity for her and members of the Staff Council Executive Board to ask questions on behalf of employees to College leadership. Should individuals not feel comfortable asking difficult questions, they may contact any member of the Executive Board.

II.   Welcome New Employees

  • Individuals hired in June, July, August, and the beginning of September were invited to stand and introduce themselves to the group. Those present included:
    • Madison Braz – AmeriCorps VISTA, Women’s and Gender Center
    • Stephanie Houle – Senior Coordinator, Events & Auxiliary Services
    • Michael Wall – Transportation & Parking
    • Christina Brooker – Sr. Operations Coordinator, Events & Auxiliary Services 

III.   Approval of the May (Annual) meeting minutes (see in K:drive/Staff Council Meeting Minutes),

  • A motion was made to approve, motion was seconded, and the May Annual Meeting minutes were unanimously approved

IV.   Introduction to Dr. Angela Batista

  • Angela is Special Advisor to the President on Diversity & Inclusion as well as Interim Vice President of Student Life.
  • Angela provided a brief summary of her recent Town Hall update, which included a chart that mapped the work being done around Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) and helped to show how her team plans to go about institutionalizing such objectives. Angela’s approach is to take a holistic look at how D&I is currently and might in the future positively impact the college community. This includes not only looking at D&I from a student life perspective but also meeting with all divisions within the College to set specific D&I goals and assist in building toward such goals.
  • Throughout the summer, Angela has been meeting with various groups around campus including department heads, Deans, as well as the President and his Cabinet to identify immediate needs and to work collaboratively to determine next steps. She also made revisions to improve the language in the online Bias Incident Report Form and re-launched the College’s Diversity Council, which will act as an advisory group to the President.
  • A question was asked whether or not Intercultural U will return. Angela responded that something similar will be made available to employees but it will differ from IU in that it will be more systematic and inclusive and will focus on many areas, or “buckets” as Angela put it, of D&I related professional development. Canvas LMS may also be utilized to provide self-guided learning opportunities. Eric Ronis has conducted a number of interviews/dialogue sessions with faculty and students to evaluate various D&I issues they may be facing and how best to address D&I professional development and learning. Angela also notified the group of upcoming sessions available to staff through DareU which focus on a number of D&I topics, including a facilitated dialogue series on Global Diversity and training sessions on how to have difficult conversations. 

V.   Introduction to Jennifer Archambault

  • Jennifer is Director of Talent and Engagement and is assuming interim leadership of the People Center
  • Jennifer shared with the group some of things that are most important to her, including family, the People Center team, College Staff/Faculty, as well as learning and teaching. Jennifer’s values include laughter, learning, and service to others.
  • Jennifer expressed her philosophy that the People Center is the voice of all employees with a focus on coaching, supporting, and engaging in dialogue. The People Center is founded on a strong connection and relationships with the College workforce and holds up the “pillars” for Excite, Engage, and Empower as well as Fostering a Diverse and Inclusive Community.
  • Jennifer highlighted some of the work she has been doing around building a “learning framework”. Her focus since starting in April has been to evaluate and assess the need for institutional professional development in an effort to help teams grow together and support emerging leaders. She has also identified opportunity to train current leaders on creating a culture of learning and support growth among their teams.

VI.   Committee Speed Networking

  • Committee chairs were stationed in different areas of the room. Attendees were invited to rotate to each location to seek information regarding each committee, including meeting some of the members and providing feedback on projects and goals for the year. Committees include:
    • Staff Welfare & Advocacy – Co-chairs: Dan Selicaro and Karen Dusini; Board Liaison: Mikael Blanco
    • Staff Communication & Engagement – Chair: Roland Palmer; Board Liaison: Nic Anderson
    • Staff Networking & Recreation – Co-chairs: Shaylea Scribner and Kelsey O’Connor; Board Liaison: Aram Sevakian

VII.   Announcements

“Student Supervisor Roundtable” (official name TBD) – Katie Leclair

  • There are currently 97 supervisors of student workers. This group was formed to discuss issues facing those supervisors as well as the students they manage. A Toolkit website has also been developed to provide training for current and potential future supervisors.

Wellbeing – Debra Dayman

  • The 2017 Fall Step Challenge ends October 6
  • Check out the People Center weekly communications for all upcoming wellbeing opportunities

Manager’s Roundtable – Roland Palmer

  • This group is comprised of all supervisors and meet on a monthly basis. The last meeting was focused on solidifying meeting topics for the upcoming year reviewing revisions made to the Strategic Plan. Next meeting will focus on the budgeting process.

DareU – Christine Hutchins

  • Reminder to check the DareU website for various offerings. Upcoming sessions focus on D&I, including a facilitated dialogue series, session on listening, and impact vs. intent.

Blood Drive – Jen Perle

  • The 11th annual Champlain College blood drive will be held on October 18 from 10:00am until 4:00pm in the CCM Champlain Room. Information on how to sign up to donate or volunteer will be sent via email.

Communications going out soon detailing the new budgeting process for FY18-19

Vermont Women in Higher Education (VWHE) 2017 Fall Dinner is being held at the College on October 25. More details can be found on the VWHE website at

VIII.   Closing – if you have questions, feedback, ideas – please speak to me or one of our Executive Committee members